Each day about 1,000 americans require emergency care for serious dog bit injuries. Annually about 9,500 are hospitalized due to dog bites. Including minor dog bites the CDC estimates that approximately 45 million dog bites occur each year. Again, according to the C=DCD 18% of all dog bites become infected. Injuries occur most commonly to the arm/hand (45.3%) leg/foot (25.8%) and the head/neck (22.8%).
Injury diagnoses are dog bite (26.4%), puncture (40.2%), laceration 924.7%, contusion-abrasion-hematoma (6%), amputation-avulsion-crush (0.8%), and fracture/dislocation (0.4%). 98.2% of patients are treated and released from the emergency room. Following release from emergency care the most common issues are related to the skin. The dog bite site, as it ages, often lads to scarring, raising and discoloration of the skin. In this case, a referral to a plastic surgeon for evaluation and a treatment plan is mandatory. Primary care physicians are recommended to make sure infections are held in check. There is often associated nerve damage around the bite area requiring a neurological evaluation.
A deep dog bite may affect he underlying muscles, tendons and ligaments. Orthopedists are often prescribed if this is the case. Damage to both the nerves and soft tissues around the dog bite site may necessitate a referral to a pain management specialist due to the ensuing pain which accompanies many dog bites long after the incident has occurred.